Even Establishment Media, Other Democrat Allies Blast VP Harris’ Latin America Visit

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a press conference in Mexico City, on June 8

The hits keep coming, even a week after Vice President Kamala Harris returned from her disastrous trip to Guatemala.

Harris “can be notoriously difficult to prep,” multiple former aides declared on condition of anonymity, Axios indicated on Sunday.

The VP surrounded herself with a staff who did not always serve her well during her 2020 presidential campaign, prompting her to be the first prominent Democrat to exit the race, the news outlet noted.

However, as VP, Harris has not taken advantage of the “latitude and stature to tap some of the country’s best talent to work on her team,” Axios pointed out.

As a result, “her trip to Guatemala and Mexico still garnered a flurry of negative headlines,” Axios suggested.

Besides the establishment media, other Democrat allies such as immigration advocates, and party strategists gave VP Harris flak for her trip to Latin America early last week, echoing Republican critics.

Unnamed White House sources cited by CNN expressed concerns that her lackluster and defensive response to an easily anticipated question from NBC News during her trip could render her first foreign trip as VP a failure.

When NBC’s Lester Holt pushed back after Harris indicated she had been to the U.S. southern border during the crisis, the VP retorted, “I haven’t been to Europe.”

She gave that response despite preparing to answer questions about whether she plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios pointed out.

Other establishment news outlets, namely CNN, NBC News, and the New York Times, have also lambasted the Biden-Harris administration’s overall border security policies and immigration enforcement measures in the country’s interior.
Republicans and some Latin American leaders blame the Biden administration’s lenient measures for the migration surge.

Axios suggested that while Harris is in the best position to succeed President Joe Biden, she may not be ready for primetime if he does not seek a second term.

The news outlet acknowledged that her mistakes during her recent trip “had rekindled the debate from her [2020] presidential campaign about whether she — and not her staff — is to blame.”

Besides negative coverage from the media and criticism from Republicans, prominent progressives in her party condemned Harris for warning would-be migrants during her trip not to come to the U.S. because they “will be turned back.”

In interviews with Spanish-language media that described Harris warnings as harsh, the VP “softened” her “do not come” message, vowing to ensure that the U.S. becomes a “safe haven” for asylum seekers.”

Still, by then, she had received criticism for her trip from “all sides,” including pro-immigrant advocates, Hispanic leaders, and Democratic strategists, the Hill reported last Tuesday.

The Hill reported on June 8, the last day of Harris’s two-day visit to Latin America:

Even Democrats conceded the trip hadn’t gone as well as it was intended.

“She is going to be haunted by this trip and this issue for as long as she is in politics,” said one Democratic strategist, in no uncertain terms. “The border is a thorny issue and she can’t win inside her party and she’ll be targeted for these comments for a long time from Republicans.”

“Issues like immigration are not the ones that anyone would sign up for given the obvious political risk,” Democratic strategist Joel Payne added.

Immigration advocates and Hispanic leaders were also unhappy with Harris’s trip. The Hill pointed out:

“The message should have been much more in our American tradition of being a country of immigrants,” said Domingo Garcia, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the country’s oldest Latino civil rights organization.

Garcia added that the Biden administration’s border and Central America policies send a “muddled message” to the people of Central America, as migrant youth are allowed to claim asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border, but adults in the region are told to stay put.

The Biden administration is allowing entry to unaccompanied children, some families, and several individuals from outside the Americas despite keeping Trump-era pandemic control protocols (Title 42) in place that allow the feds to remove any migrant during the pandemic.

Harris and her team insist that Biden “mischaracterized” her mission as one having to do with the worsening situation at the U.S. southern border, CNN learned from anonymous administration officials.

The VP and her staff insist that her assignment is solely to deal with the “root causes” of migration from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the primary source of the migrant surge.

Harris has been resisting a bipartisan push to visit the border for months. A day after her interview with NBC’s Holt, however, the VP finally said she would visit the region, without providing a timeline.

The unnamed White House sources told CNN Harris is avoiding any link to the border crisis because it could be politically disastrous to her chances of becoming president one day.


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